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Zhanjiang pedals toward becoming 'footprint city'
By Shen Yi Updated: 2016-04-07
The city of Zhanjiang in Guangdong province has launched a new travel card allowing residents to take public transport and rent bicycles with a single swipe, as a part of its "footprint city" initiative, according to the local government.
The concept of "footprint city" was first put forward in 2014 and is unique to Zhanjiang as the city aims to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging its residents to use public transport or ride bicycles instead of clogging the roads with cars. One of the central aims of this policy is for buses and bikes to account for more than 30 percent of all transport in Zhanjiang.
As of the end of March, Zhanjiang has built 472 service stations, providing 10,000 public bicycles for locals to rent, more than that of similar systems in London and New York.
"With the help of public bicycles, I don't need to drive my car to work any more. I just use the card to take a bus and then to rent a public bicycle to my working place. It's not only convenient but good for my health," said a local surnamed Zhang.
Statistics from the city's public transportation company show that the average use of the rental bicycles reaches up to 23,000 times every day, with the company issuing 71,444 cards to locals since the system went into operation in January 2015.
"Zhanjiang should be a city on foot instead of on wheels," said Zhanjiang Mayor Wang Zhongbing, "City planning should focus on bus and bicycle lanes instead of wider lanes for cars."
During the past two years, Zhanjiang has transformed 32 city streets, expanding their lanes for buses and bicycles. The Zhanchuan Avenue, which runs from the South to the North of the city, has spared 40 percent of its width for buses and bicycles.
The city plans to transform 300 kilometers of streets into slow lanes for buses and bicycles, relocating the functions of some urban streets to provide more transport convenience for locals in the upcoming few years.
The city of Zhanjiang is stocked with 10,000 public bicycles to provide transport convenience for locals. [Photo/zhanjiang.gov.cn]
A Zhanjiang resident returns the public bicycle to the service station on April 5. [Photo/zhanjiang.gov.cn]